Thursday, October 27, 2011

A Weekend on the Gold Coast

Miami Beach with Surfer's Paradise in the distance

A friend from Kingston, Ontario inspired our weekend trip down the coast to Burliegh Heads/Miami Beach (a section of beach between the Gold Coast and Surfer's Paradise).  Dave and part of his family were going to be staying there to attend a family wedding.  His partner Nat was a bridesmaid in her sister's wedding. 

We decided not to rent a car, and try the train instead.  It actually took a short bus ride, a short train ride, a longer train ride, and a second bus to get their.  Then it turns off we got off at furthest spot from our hotel so we had to walk the last kilometre or so.  But we did get their just in time to see the second half of the Australia vs.Wales World Cup Rugby game.  It was an exciting game, with Australia taking 3rd place in the World Cup finals.  The final game was played on Sunday - New Zealand vs. France.  That game was way more exciting than expected as New Zealand had dominated the tournament previously but in the final game France kept it very close.  The All Blacks won but only by a point!  But I digress...

Unfortunately our accommodations were not so great.  The space was generous with a small kitchen and living room and 2 bedrooms, but it was dirty.  It made us not want to open any drawers for fear of what we might find.  Before eating we re-washed the dishes.  We did not spend a lot of time in our room however as we met up with Dave and Nat at their lovely hotel with a huge and I mean HUGE heated pool.

 We spend most of Sat. morning their and then we had lunch at Piccolo a restaurant across the road from the ocean.  Then it was an afternoon at the ocean!   Oh I do love the ocean.  It makes me so happy.  We spent hours just jumping in the waves trying to body surf.

getting buried by the tide

We hung out at the beach long enough to see the wedding party setting up for the wedding on the beach.  We took a couple of pictures of the wedding ensemble from the cliff top on our way back to our hotel. 

Nat and Tate's Beach Wedding

Dramatic setting for the wedding

The kids were very excited to go to "Sushi Train" for dinner.  It is the type of Japanese restaurant where you sit at the counter and little plates of various sushi roll by on a conveyor belt.  You just take what you want until your belly is full.   Each plate costs between 3 and 5 dollars.  The plates are colour coded to the price, so at the end of the meal the cashier just totals up your plates.

After dinner, Dave and Nat invited us to 'crash' their sister's wedding - so we did.  It was good fun.  The kids were zonked though after a day of sun and water so we were back to the hotel well before midnight.

The next day it was back to the ocean for more sand and salt water.

Nat, Xavier, Dave, Serenna, P-S, and Zac

Serenna makes a splash!

 Nat, who is Australian gave us a quick lesson on some of the things in the ocean that can kill or at least sting us.  Fortunately, there are not meant to be many 'stinger' this far South.  They are more prominent in the North near the Great Barrier Reef.  Nat did however find a few 'blue bottles' stingers on the shore to show us.  I wish I had had my camera - they were a pretty blue transparent jellyfish.

A link to another photographers image of a Blue Bottle

 Apparently they have barbs at the end of their tentacles that dig in making them hard to get off.  If a friend/parent tries to pull it off they will get stung too.  So her advice was  use a towel to get it off and then treat the nasty sting with vinegar.  I will definitely be adding  vinegar to our swim bags just in case! 

One little creature that vinegar treatment will not help with is the blue ringed octopus.  Nat told us about this one as a serious precaution.  Zac has also read about the blue-ringed octopus  in his  Animals of Australia book.  It lives in tide pools.  At rest it is a yellow brown colour but when threatened it gets blue rings on it when it is angry. If it stings you, it can stop your heart!  Yet it is quite pretty.  Have a look here:

  It is a wee tiny octopus that is deadly!   The blue-ringed octopus is the size of a golf ball but its poison is powerful enough to kill an adult human in minutes. There's no known antidote. The only treatment is hours of heart massage and artificial respiration until the poison has worked its way out of your system. Nat told us a story that with CPR the person can remain conscious and know what is happening to them but their heart cannot beat on it s own.  Lesson learned - never poke at anything in a tidal pool with your curious little fingers, right Zac?!

We had lunch with Dave and Nat and their two boys, had another swim in their pool and then took a bus, train and city cat back home to Brisbane - just in time for that rugby game.

Sending my love, until next time..... xox

1 comment:

  1. Amazing Penni-Sue - loved the pictures, I feel like I'm with you guys xoxo